Centre for Life

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Times Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
www.life.org.uk/ - 0191 243 8210
Centre for Life - Centre for Life
Centre for Life - Centre for Life - alien
Centre for Life - Centre for Life - robot exhibition
Centre for Life - Centre for Life - Seven of Nine
Centre for Life - Centre for Life - planetarium
Centre for Life - Centre for Life - planetarium
Centre for Life - Centre for Life

Centre for Life Newcastle upon Tyne Reviews

Toonsarah Toonsarah
566 reviews
Great for children and families Nov 14, 2017
The Centre for Life opened in Newcastle back in the year 2000, but we have only recently got round to visiting. Our perception had been that this is largely a place for children and families, rather than adults, and on the whole our visit reinforced rather than changed that perception. However, we had discovered that some events and activities have a more adult bias and it was one of these that drew us here – a show in the planetarium about the Hubble telescope, marking its 25th year. More about that later, but first, some information about the Centre.

This is not just a visitor attraction but a whole complex – indeed, it describes itself as a “science village”. According to the website, “almost 600 people from 35 countries work here: researchers, doctors and nurses work alongside people in the fields of education, public engagement and business”. The scientific bodies based here include Newcastle University’s Institute of Genetic Medicine; the NHS Newcastle Fertility Centre; the NHS Northern Genetics Service and several biotechnology companies. The buildings surround a public space, roughly oval in shape, known as Times Square which in the winter is home to an ice skating rink and year round to a couple of bars. The Centre for Life also has a café on this square.

But most people come here for the Science Centre exhibits, as we did. As I said, there is a strong child-friendly emphasis to these, with lots of interactive displays and experiments. One area is the Brain Zone, with lots of demonstrations of the way it can play tricks on you. Another is the Young Explorers’ Zone, aimed at young children (under seven), while the Curiosity Zone encourages slightly older ones to experiment. There is a Science Theatre with live shows programmed at intervals during the day highlighting a specific scientific theme (when we were there it was about man’s efforts to fly) and a 4D motion ride. We though made a beeline for the planetarium and enjoyed the 20 minute film about Hubble – the images looked fantastic projected above our heads. We also had a look at a temporary exhibition featuring robots from film and TV – as a Star Trek; Next Generation fan I was especially pleased to see Locutus of Borg, but if Star Wars is more your thing you will meet R2-D2, C-3PO and others too.

On the whole though I came away feeling that for adults without children in tow there probably isn’t enough here to merit the £9.95 entrance fee (£7.95 concessions, children 5-17 £6.95). For families however it would be a different matter, as all the children we saw were thoroughly enjoying themselves and learning at the same time. You can get a family ticket too (£27.80 for one adult + three children or two adults + two children) which makes it better value. The entrance fee covers all parts of the Centre – planetarium, theatre etc. Note though that at times of special exhibitions the price goes up – there isn’t an option to pay separately for the standard exhibits. So make sure you want to see the special one before deciding to go at that time.
Centre for Life
Centre for Life
Centre for Life - planetarium
Centre for Life - planetarium
6 / 6 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Paulovic says:
Congrats on your featured review!
Posted on: Nov 18, 2017
Toonsarah says:
Thanks Holger! And Vance, I see what you mean about the name, but it's because it's linked to the life sciences research facility I guess
Posted on: Nov 18, 2017
Sarah, congrats on your featured review. Well done.
Posted on: Nov 18, 2017
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